Definition of Samaritan in English:



  • 1A charitable or helpful person (with reference to Luke 1033)

    ‘suddenly, miraculously, a Good Samaritan leaned over and handed the cashier a dollar bill on my behalf’
    • ‘Just before the police are called, a Good Samaritan, posing as a police officer, steps in to save him.’
    • ‘Giving aid to someone you messed up, with them thinking you are some kind of Samaritan, does not leave you with a good feeling about yourself.’
    • ‘The Belfast man and his wife Josephine were stranded for an hour in their car along the Ballydugan Road before a good Samaritan came to their rescue.’
    • ‘That wonderful Samaritan must have had two things that all of us need while we continue to be alive: humility and courage.’
    • ‘A quick thinking Samaritan jumped over the wall and threw the drowning man a lifebuoy but he was unable to hold on due to the strong waves and cold water.’
    patron, benefactress, supporter, backer, helper, sponsor, promoter, champion
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  • 2A member of a people inhabiting Samaria in biblical times, or of the modern community claiming descent from them, adhering to a form of Judaism accepting only its own ancient version of the Pentateuch as Scripture.

    • ‘The Samaritans and Jews had rival temples, one on Mt. Gerizim and one at Jerusalem.’
    • ‘The advantage the Jews had over the Samaritans was the Bible which instructed them in the acceptable way of approaching God.’
    • ‘Because of the doctrinal differences between Samaritans and Jews, Samaritans are educated in secular Israeli schools.’
    • ‘R. HaXohen instead groups contemporary non-orthodox Jews with the ancient Samaritans, a group of deviant Jews.’
    • ‘Because the Samaritans recognized only the Pentateuch as authoritative, references later in the OT stipulating worship at the Jerusalem temple were not considered binding.’
  • 3[mass noun] The dialect of Aramaic formerly spoken in Samaria.

  • 4(in the UK) an organization which counsels the suicidal and others in distress, mainly through a telephone service.

    ‘I began volunteer work for the Samaritans’
    • ‘In the past, unpaid volunteers have made professional-level contributions to many charitable activities, such as the lifeboat service, the Samaritans, and care of the elderly.’
    • ‘The work being done quietly and anonymously by the Samaritans organisation has a role to play in helping those going through crisis periods in their lives.’
    • ‘I wonder whether the woman seeking an organisation to join has considered joining the Samaritans and helping those who are depressed, lonely, anxious or suicidal.’
    • ‘The Samaritans urge people not to bottle up relationship problems but to talk to a friend or Samaritan if they are in crisis.’
    • ‘People do get depressed and the Samaritans is an excellent organisation to help people through harder times.’
    • ‘She suffered from insomnia and had made a number of telephone calls to the Samaritans over the preceding week or two.’


  • Relating to Samaria or the Samaritans.

    ‘Jesus's words to the Samaritan woman’
    • ‘Mazur came to the conclusion that the building as she reconstructed it could never have functioned as a synagogue, yet Binder has no problem identifying it as a Jewish, or rather Samaritan, assembly hall, at least in its second phase.’
    • ‘According to Bruneau, the stelai were probably incorporated into this facade and would, therefore, allow us to identify the respective building as a second, Samaritan, synagogue.’
    • ‘According to Samaritan tradition, Mount Gerizim, at whose foot Jacob's well was located, was the mountain where Abraham had climbed to sacrifice Isaac.’
    • ‘As an integral part of the Samaritan mission, Jesus witnesses to the disciples about true ministry and its inclusive nature, demonstrating that many of the same issues needed to be confronted with them as with the woman.’
    • ‘In conclusion, there is nothing specifically Jewish or Samaritan about the fittings of GD 80 except the wording of the Greek inscriptions on the votives.’


From late Latin Samaritanus, from Greek Samareitēs, from Samareia Samaria. The New Testament parable of the Good Samaritan reflects a proverbial hostility between Jews and Samaritans.